Set in modern Ireland against a background of growing affluence and changing mores, The Altruist is the story of Eilis O'Connor, granddaughter of the eponymous protagonist of Walter Keady's previous novel, Mary McGreevy.Eilis O'Connor, granddaughter of the protagonist of Walter Keady's Mary McGreevy, grows up in an Ireland that has changed significantly since the days of her grand?mother's youth. But some things do not change: Eilis, too, flouts conventional mores. While her grandmother had a child out of wedlock, Eilis agrees to be a surrogate mother for her infertile cousin. She does so with the adulterous assistance of her cousin's husband.The arrangement is threatened as Eilis becomes so attached to her newborn baby girl that she decides to keep her. When the outraged cousin and husband sue for custody, Eilis is defended by a sharp young lawyer with whom she soon becomes romantically involved. After a protracted lawsuit, which marks the first time the issue of surrogacy is raised in an Irish court, a landmark decision is given.Intrigues involving blackmail and counter-blackmail keep the case from being closed, however. Emotions are stretched to breaking point among family members on both sides. Included in the cast of authentic, often charming characters are a right-wing activist who is trying to reform the country's morals, a former priest who is in love with Eilis's mother, Eilis's father, who is having an extra-marital affair, and a young gay couple drawn into the legal morass. Set in modern Ireland, against a background of growing affluence and changing mores, The Altruist reaffirms Walter Keady's reputation as "a true storyteller, with an absolute command of the English language."* * St. Petersburg TimesAbout the AuthorWalter Keady grew up on a farm in the west of Ireland. He was in the Irish Civil Service, served as a Catholic missionary priest in Brazil, and later worked as a software engineer at IBM. Keady is the author of two previous novels, Celibates and Other Lovers and Mary McGreevy. He lives with his wife, Patricia, in New York's Hudson Valley.